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Ben & Kathy,
Doug & Pat,
Jeff & Barbara,
Dan & Jan,
David & Cindy,
Michael & Erinn,
Tom & Peggy,
Duane & Marjanne,
Warren & Erleen,
Paul & Beth,
Reg & Barb,
Jim & Claire,
Bill & Mary,
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Rob & Sherry Staley
You will notice that Christopher's address has been added to the family list. He has moved to Calgary and is attending Devry, taking Computer Information Systems. He has a part-time job at Telus, doing data entry for now. Telus is a big Alberta telecommunications company. He's doing real good, we are proud of him.
We had a very good vacation. Pa and Esther came up with Jeff and Barbara and the kids for a visit. We spent the time tubing in the river, swimming at the local swimming hole and diving off Big Rock. We went to the interpretive centre, and the men went on a short hike to Window Mountain Lake. On our own, we went camping to Kananaskis Lakes. On our way home we saw a grizzly bear and two cubs walking beside the road.
Travis and his girlfriend Karen are coming to visit this weekend from Toronto! We are sure looking forward to that. They will rent a car in Calgary and drive down to Blairmore, which is about 180 miles.
Anyway, school starts in two weeks, Cori will be in grade 11. She continues her piano and works part-time at the grocery store. Justin will be in grade seven and is very into Star Wars. He plays role-playing games with his friends.
Hope you are all doing well!
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Ben & Kathy Staley
Well I feel like our summer has just gotten started but here it is the middle of August! We got a late start with lots of rain in June but have had great weather through July and August.
We have gotten out to the ocean surfing and kite flying two times so far and have been doing a lot of biking, mainly at a BMX track near our house. The boys have been getting really good at jumping. I had to go out and buy a bike for myself, it looked like they were having too much fun but my courage is not quite the same now that I realize the consequences more. Is that age showing through? I hope not.
Right now I'm packing for my big trip this summer climbing Bora peak, the highest in Idaho then off to climb the Grand Teton in Wyoming for a week followed by a week of mountain biking in Moab Utah with a few friends of mine. Kathy is staying home for this one with the boys to get ready for her fall craft show coming up in September. She has some new items she is really excited about called "needle punch" they kind of look like little tiny rugs but are pins and wall hangings. Some of you other crafty people may be familiar with it.
We also had a great visit with Becky this summer. Thatís all for now, thanks again Becky for your work doing these.
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Doug & Pat Staley
It's the beginning of another school year here at our house, which for us seems to be a more traumatic and obvious signpost for the passing of time than even January 1st and the start of a new calendar year. Our family really shifts gears about the middle of August. Pat begins to dig out her classroom lessons boxes and spends several days reorganizing and updating her lesson plans. Shelly checks her drawers and closet, and begins to suggest to her mom that a trip to the Gilroy outlet stores would be a good idea, and of course lots of announcements begin to arrive from the schools in the mailbox with all kinds of confusing and contradictory information on "back to school" schedules and re-registering requirements. Activities really speed up here as school opening nears.
Toby is home for this school year. As much as he loved the Santa Barbara campus, he decided the pressure of Engineering was overwhelming, so has registered at City College, and already has the 1st week of classes behind him. He has decided wisely we think to do a year of prerequisites here, and let his mind and finances rest a bit before taking another shot at the cruncher courses over there. Needless to say, our grocery bill has tripled since he's been home.
Shelly is a Junior at Bullard H.S. this year, got her drivers license over the summer, and though not particularly excited about going back to school is about ready for next weeks 1st day back. She's picked up job applications at several stores in our area, and thinks she'll work part time after school this year to keep the snow boarding fund solvent. She and friends all got their licenses this summer, so Pat and I are doing that mental adjustment that comes with realizing that the last kid has their "freedom ticket", and we'll be spending lots of evenings alone from here on out.
Erinn and my new granddaughter, Sarah, were here day before yesterday. They flew out from Atlanta to Sacramento to visit her mom, and were able to get down here for the day. My mom, Jim and Carol, Pats dad, and us four were able to visit and as Shelly says "fuss over Sarah". Was really my 1st clear realization that I'm now a G'pa. The juryís not in yet on my mental health regarding that, but I've got to admit that Sarah is worth the adjustment! What a doll! Erinn and Michael are doing as well as can be expected as new parents, one a full time student, and the other a mom and part time babysitter. I remember having been there and doing that, and know it's all part of the process, however tough. Michael is hanging in there at school, and they're already talking about moving West (Phoenix area) when he gets the license to practice.
Pat & Shelly spent 5 weeks in McCall, Idaho this summer. They painted and reconditioned the interior of our place up there after our last disastrous renter, and saved the exterior and plumbing work for me. When I got back from Lima, I loaded the tools and headed up for my own "vacation". You can't realize how tanned and rested you can get while standing at the top of a 24' extension ladder scraping paint! Course you lose the tan part when you spend 3 days under the house replacing the drain lines, but even then you're just "laying around", so I got my rest and all in all had a productive vacation. After taking a few weeks off, Toby went back to work for the city as a lifeguard so wasn't able to join us there again this summer... the bum! He missed out on all the relaxation!!
Well, I guess I'd better sign off for this time. It's early Sat. morning, and in a few hours Jim & Carol and Pat & I are going to the Madera airport for an all inclusive, classic car, classic airplane, ultra-light, helicopter, war bird meet. Jim is convincing me that we should take a demo ultra-light ride, and then sign up for ultra-light flying lessons. Well... maybe. It's supposed to be about 99F today, so I figure I can go out, suffer sunstroke about the time they fire up those little lawn mower engines, and have to be brought home in an ambulance. My idea is that this plan beats the alternative of straddling one of those little sticks with paper wings, climbing up to about 500' and then getting dizzy and falling off. These bones don't bounce as well as they used to when dropped from that height!
UPDATE: Jim, Carol, Pat and I went to the fly-in in Madera. As it worked out, though we got info on ultra lights... there were a coupla P-51 Mustangs in attendance. I bought 3 raffle tickets for a ride in one - AND WON! The pilot took me out and did a roll, we romped about the sky at 300mph, and then at my request he brought me in over the airport on a fly by, and then pointed the bird straight up about mid field. Sooooo cool!! Is a real highlight of my life now, especially since Dad & I had so often talked about that airplane as I grew up, and both of us love(d) it so. Jim, Carol & Pat were so supportive and delighted that I got to live a dream (for both Dad & myself), and stayed way past time to go home to watch me soar. Great day at the airport!!
Love to all.
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Jeff & Barbara Staley
We have had an enjoyable first summer here in the Seattle area. We have gone to five Mariners' games, been camping three times, stayed in a condo in Whistler BC, visited Rob, Sherry, and family in Alberta--toting my dad and Esther along the entire journey, and had numerous get togethers with extended family and friends. Now finally, after a month of beautiful weather, the past three days have been rainy. That must mean fall is nearly here and school is about to begin (next Tuesday). Hmmm . . . how am I going to get all the outdoor painting done before school starts? Wouldn't it be sad if I wasn't able to get it all done?
I think the highlight of the summer for the kids was the trip to Alberta. We had my dad and Esther fly up to Seattle, and then we took two days to drive to Rob and Sherry's. It was our first visit in Crowsnest Pass, and we made the most of it. The kids floated down the river and swam at the local swimming hole. Pa, Rob, and I went on a hike up to an alpine lake, we toured the Frank Slide Interpretive Center (quite impressive!), and I rode with Rob to Calgary one evening to take Chris Staley back to school. Finally, on the way home from Rob's, we explored part of Glacier National Park with them. Believe it or not, we only had one day under 80 degrees on the entire trip!
Two days after we returned, Barbara's mom and a cousin and his family came up from California for a visit, while I left for Alta, Utah for a week-long conference on teaching. Everyone at the conference raved about the beauty of Alta, but after living in the Northwest for twelve years, I wasn't particularly impressed. I am definitely spoiled!
Another couple of highlights of the summer were the two camping trips with cousins. The first one was the annual "Staley father/son backpacking trip." This year my son Ben and I were invited to join "grandpa" (or "big") Ben, cousin ("middle") Ben, cousin Tim, and Kelly, Alex, and J.C. on a two night hike to Goat Lake in the North Cascades. We survived a night of heavy rainfall and middle Ben's 1,000 foot scree climb to a cascading waterfall. Then last weekend it was a father/"daughter" camping trip with Gary and Erin Keller, Tim and Kevin (AKA "Kevina") Staley, and Allison and I. We did one day hike to an old ghost town (Monte Cristo) and another day hike to some ice caves. Quite memorable. Ben and Allison are already looking forward to next summer's cousin hikes.
I am teaching this fall at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma (59 miles south) and Ben begins junior high. He is excited about that. He has also begun playing football (a Pop Warner-type league based on age and weight). He has met some avid 49er fans like himself there and is hyped for his first game. Allison is a third grader and active in drama at church. Barbara is quite pleased to report that she has nothing to report about her work. It is steady, interesting, and unstressful. HELLO!! Wake up Barbara, and smell the coffee!
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Dan & Jan Greenough
You caught us at the end of a good summer in Tucson --not too hot (never got above 105) and a pretty good rainy season during the past 6 weeks. Dan's even been able to do yard work in the mornings, with occasional help from his right-hand gardener (me). Our desert willow tree in the back yard still has purple-pink blooms, the cordia bush has scattered white flowers, and the cape honeysuckle is putting out orange ones. Dan likes flowering bushes & trees, so we have lots. In the front yard, the mesquite tree that started out as a 2 foot twig 2-1/2 years ago is now about 12 feet high and so wide that Dan had to trim it back the other day. He says working in the yard relaxes him.
Another reason it's a good summer is that our "summer vacation" is coming up in 2 weeks! We're flying back to New York for the wedding of a niece, and will spend a week there with Dan's family, then a few days in Washington DC on our own. Dan's looking forward to showing some of his kids around the town(s) where he grew up, and we'll do lots of sightseeing and family gatherings. I'm the travel agent in the family, and have spent months planning! I'm hoping I'll have time to do some photography and find some interesting things to shoot.
Dan's home selling was slow from January through June. The roads and model homes in his new subdivision weren't completed, and interest rates were up. But, thank the Lord, things picked up the last couple months, and he's been selling 4 or 5 homes a month. He enjoys it when he's busy.
Beth & Paul (& boys) were down from Phoenix for a visit last weekend, and we had a real nice time. We picnicked and explored up on Mt. Lemmon, where it's still summer, but much cooler than the Tucson valley.
No new retirement plans, but I'm still hoping I can talk Dan into slowing down in the next year or two. If so, we may drop in to see some of you some summer. Let us know if you're in our neighborhood, so we can reciprocate early!
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David & Cindy Staley
[Editorís note: David sent the following to several of us via e-mail on July 8. It was so good, I asked his permission to use it as their contribution to the cousin letter.]
How's your summer goin'? We've been having a doozy what with ambulance rides, guests and visitors, camp meetings and business trips. On this last note, we just got back from New York--just this minute in fact. The grant I wrote was advertised on the internet and now all sorts of Technology Literacy Education companies are calling trying to grab our money.
Lab Volt, on the Jersey Shore offered Cindy and I a trip to New York and their lab in New Jersey, so we left the kids at grandma's and headed to Colorado Springs to catch a plane. I had a chance to visit San Antonio last week, too. We spent Saturday and Sunday touring Manhattan and Brooklyn then on Monday, when I went down to Wall township to view the lab, Cindy took the train back into Manhattan for more sight seeing. We met up at Newark international later that day, then were delayed an hour and half due to weather. We missed our connection in Kentucky and so got another evening in a wonderful hotel on the riverfront (Cincinnati) the only downside was that all our luggage was still in Newark!
This morning we slept in and ordered room service (Delta was paying, so I gave everybody huge tips) then we had an uneventful, extremely boring flight on a tiny 727. We flew nothing smaller than a 757 on the way out so enjoyed movies and music and decent food...
We had a good time in Manhattan visiting all the usual tourist spots. I remembered a lot from last time--Manhattan really isn't that big of a place, that's why they build UP, I guess! Cindy drove our rental car all over the city--did a great job.
A week ago Sunday I was walking down our stairs, got near the bottom, and my stocking feet flew out from under me. I landed full force on the kidney area of my back. I staggered to the couch and hollered for the kids to bring me the phone--Cindy was fishing so I called the in-laws. When they got here I found that I couldn't move an inch without severe pain. It felt just as if I had been stabbed in the back--I was shocked when my Mother-in-law reported that there wasn't a mark on me. We called 911 and I got a trip to our emergency room. The upshot: no broken bones, no dangerous kidney damage, just a torn muscle. I'm starting to mend, but still feel awfully sore--I wear a brace and can't drive or ride my bike. Gordon and I are planning to climb Mt. Massive in 10 days--I don't know if I'll be up to it...
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Michael & Erinn Dooley
[Editorís note: The following is condensed with the authorís permission from a personal e-mail message Erinn wrote to me on July 14.]
You've probably rarely ever heard a mother describing her baby as,"perfect, the most beautiful baby on this entire planet, a genius at only 3 months of age, sweet as honey, soft as silk, wonderful, delicious, awesome, without flaw, a keeper, mine, all mine...! She looks like her dad!" It's true, every last bit.
Her name is Sarah Lyn Dooley. Itís a combination of Michaelís mother: Sarafina Thomasina Frankina and my mom: good ol' Lynda Ann Thomasson. Her grandmas are pretty proud to share their names. They don't even seem to mind a bit that we didn't include the whole of them.
Unlike a whole bunch of sweet, but questionable, women Iíve met, I did not enjoy much about pregnancy. In the beginning no food sounded good to eat, but if I didn't eat, I got sick and weak feeling. Next, I began to watch my waist disappear and a fat girl's appear instead. Then suddenly I couldn't do.... regular stuff like running, getting down on the floor, reaching into lower kitchen cabinets, sleeping, getting into the car, shaving my legs, walking the dog, and other stuff became chores. The really good parts in all were hearing the baby's (we didn't know she was a she until delivery) heart and feeling her lively little body inside.
About a week before she was supposed to come, I could hardly stand it another minute, so I walked. I walked at the mall, at the park, to the mailbox, anywhere. She would not come! In the middle of the night of April 17, I sort of suddenly woke up to one painful contraction after another. We went to the hospital only to be put on and taken off monitors in between walking up and down the halls stopping to breathe through the frequent, painful contractions.
After 15 hours of labor, and some medication to "take the edge off," there was still no reason to believe we'd have a baby soon, so we agreed Iíd get an epideral(?). Boy was that sweet. Many hours later, the midwife and doctor recommended a C-section.
It only took 22 hours of my life, and after they took her out, they realized that all my hard pushing tore parts of my insides up much like a "firecracker" might. They sewed me up and told me they didn't ever want me to try a vaginal delivery again. Any future babies must be delivered 2 weeks early by way of the knife so that I don't ever experience a contraction again... pity.
Really, she's great though. I wouldn't change a thing. She's even starting to rub her eyes, laugh, reach for things, and coo in her sweet little voice. At this morningís doctor visit she was almost 24 inches, and weighed a whopping 13lbs. As politely as possible, I was told Iím spoiling her (imagine being able to spoil such a teeny person). It's hard to help, I love her so much.
Take care now.
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Tom & Peggy OíMalley
Last Thursday we drove a van load of stuff and Maggie to Cal State Northridge. With confirmation of classes in hand, she checked into the dorm, went through freshman orientation, and met her three roommates. Then we kissed her goodbye and drove away. For those of you that havenít done this yet, prepare for a wide range of emotions. We got a call today (August 25) that the first day of classes had gone very well.
Merry is preparing to start her senior year at Atascadero H.S. After spending several weeks dancing in Santa Barbara this summer, she made the decision to pursue a dance major. So, with one hand weíve been packing Maggie, and with the other weíve been poring over college catalogs with Merry. Sheís interested in a Dance Therapy/Science emphasis rather than performance. How did all this time pass so quickly?
Trevor will be a freshman this year. Heís spent a lot of the summer learning to play water-polo. Heís also looking forward to wrestling in high school. He keeps a steady stream of boys pouring through his makeshift gym in the barn. He enjoyed two weeks working at Camp Good News this summer and also worked for Child Evangelism at our fair.
Thereís never room to tell about Tom and I. Iím enjoying reduced class size in the California school system. Tom continues to fix up the house and looks forward to the next Staley reunion and cousin night here!
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Duane & Marjanne Claassen
I guess I canít claim "no news" this time around! Thereís plenty.
First was a job change for me. I spent last year in a regular public school system where I was nurse in one high school and three elementary schools. But I will not continue there. I am going back to school to work toward a Masters (Family Nurse Practitioner). That is partly due to the fact that Camiís college bills are paid! She graduated in May from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Engineering. She also sorta got engaged to a fellow graduate... Howard Meloch. They were married August 2 here in Denver.
Camiís wedding ranks right up there with "important." The preparations were fun, personal, and time-consuming. The event brought Grandparents Layton, Wendy, Talley and Bryant to town. Talley was maid of honor, Bryant was Mr. Congeniality, and Wendy, Mom and Dad helped in the many prayerful and practical ways they always do. Everyone worked so hard to give gifts of themselves! Even Cami and Howie graciously understood that the day was not JUST about them. Dorea played a trumpet pro- and recessional. (She continues to study seriously.) Hannah did two dances (yes, during the ceremony)... one to Amazing Grace on classical guitar (live), and one to Michael W. Smithís "The Other Side of Me." Howieís family contributed with a vocal solo written especially for the couple and also a sweet duet. Cami looked gorgeous in the gown she and Aunt Idee found. Hannah and I worked on the headpiece and lace veil. Simple, but very classy. It had a princess or "Maid Marian" effect. I made up for missing the gown shopping by helping Howie shop for his wedding suit. We did quite well and he looked great!
[Editorís note: Marjanne graciously included these photos with her letter. Click on these thumbnails to get the larger photo.]
The girls wore a simple, full-skirted navy blue rayon dress (just above the ankle). The guys were in navy slacks, tan tab-collar shirts, and tweed-ish vests. I had grown garden type flowers in various sized pots for the reception in the church gym. We also used a fence, mini lights and some tulle and ivy. It worked out real well. The food was catered by someone we know. Yummy! Cami and Howie are now settled (?) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after a honeymoon in Sanibel (Thank you, Kellers!!!). Cami has a job in her engineering field (Systems Science) with JB Hunt, a trucking company. Howie will be training as an InterVarsity staff worker.
This week Dorea and I both start school. Sheís been living on her own here in Denver for about a year... and took last year off school. Sheíll work part time and study music at a local college (Metro, my alma mater) with an excellent trumpet teacher. She is also working pretty seriously with photography.
Next week Hannah starts her senior year in our public school system. Sheíll continue as a dance major at our School for the Arts. They will be in one building now and theirs will be the first class to graduate from the entire seven-year program. She is also making her debut with a professional modern dance company this Saturday. It is where she has danced as a junior member for two-plus years. She was invited to join the company on one piece for the season opener. (This is a big deal honor kind of thing in the dance world.) Kathy and Bill Hobson just may be here for the event since they will be here this weekend for the Bronco/Chiefís game.
Duane actually made the news this year as well. In July he received an award from a local news channel for his volunteer work at Inner City Health Center. He and eight others got wined and dined and shown on TV and we all had to dress up and act nice and not spill our gourmet food or step on anyoneís designer shoes for like four whole hours. It was quite the event and we have this HUGE award thing now. It was a well-deserved honor and does help the clinic gain exposure for grants, donations, etc. We did enjoy meeting the other recipients and hearing some good news for a change.
So this makes up for the last several times I havenít written. Weíre still alive and well in Denver. And, as Kathy and Bill were pleased to know, we have an actual guest room for any of you, now that our nest is emptying.
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Warren & Erleen Staley
As I sit here at my computer in Warrenís office, I can see Rebecca and Barnabas playing in their 20-foot expandable fence in Warrenís waiting room. Becca is now 1 year old and Barnabas is 15 months. Warren is going to add Staley Day Care to his door. Ha! He is on the cutting edge of the big corporations. They provide two rooms for moms with kids; one is for the sick ones. All of his clients think itís great. It takes their mind off their taxes. Praise God! Usually it is only Becca here but today Mel took Grace to get her wisdom teeth pulled.
Melodee and Barnabas are visiting for a couple of months while her husband Dennis is in boot camp. She will join him next week in Georgia. He is specializing in telecommunications. They hope to use their education and experience in a foreign field of their choice someday for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mother is with us now and needs 24-hour care. The Lord has provided my sister Mary Lou to help plus eight hours more care a day by others so I can still help Warren in the office. I now also have help with my housework, baking and cleaning which are extra gifts from the Lord.
Warren passed the Tax Court Bar Exam he took in Washington, DC, he took last November. He feels that the Lord may use this as part of his retirement plan. He can now represent his clients in Tax Court. There is only one other person here in northern California qualified to do this kind of work. Warren is feeling real good now in spirit, soul, (mid-life crisis) and body. The Lord has truly given us a full and blessed life.
I feel very honored to be Warrenís helper in life. We just came back from seeing Warrenís parents in San Luis Obispo. Every time we see them, itís a little more special. This life is so very short and eternity is so long. We are thankful for a godly Christian heritage. The Bible is so very exciting and encouraging because you canít find any perfect people in it except God. His Word is so refreshing and active and helpful in living this life joyful and happy.
Warren is an elder in the church and enjoying the privileges and responsibilities that go along with it. he is also teaching our children and their families on Monday night from the book of Romans. We all enjoy dinner together. It is so special because now, in two weeks, Melodee will be gone and in December Grace and Matt will move to Pasadena where Matt will attend Fuller Theological Seminary. They plan to go into foreign missions. Someday, Lord willing, Dennis and Melodee will join them in some type of missions work. We will miss Matt in the office. Heís the best Junior Accountant Warren has ever hired. Please pray for his replacement.
Skip and Teresa, Tia and Warren Jr. are still here along with Keith and Jen and Becca. We are so thankful to have them living so close. They are a real blessing. Mark is now in high school and is so far liking it better than junior high.
We have the college kids in our home still on Thursday evenings after an 8-week break this summer. We are praying about extending the living room out to the end of the patio. Last year we had 45 to 60 students. It was too crowded.
As we get older and see all there is to do in ministry, it makes us want to sit back and pray more and watch God move through others instead of being the one to always be there and try to fix it. we are recognizing Godís sovereignty and power and grace and strength now more than we ever have. You might call it old age.
We are nothing. He doesnít choose to move until we pray anyway. Itís neat to be a part of where God is at work around us. Have a wonderful year and God bless each and every one of you. We really believe the Lord is coming soon. I think it wonít be too long before we can all join Uncle John. We have much to do before He arrives. I pray we will all be ready and not ashamed at His coming. "Now may you be preserved in your spirit, soul, and body, blameless at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." First Thessalonians 5:23
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Paul & Beth Drechsel
The kids are back in school. Rob is in mid-school and starts half an hour earlier than Kevin. We have been so pleased with the Peoria School District these last seven years. The schools are excellent, the teachers wonderful. Many of the boysí teachers have been Christians. We have certainly had a good experience with the public school system.
I baby-sit eight hours a day, five days a week. Having a baby around again has been a big adjustment but I have bonded to her and love her dearly. Rob and Kevin have enjoyed her, too, and I think itís been good for them to learn to care for her.
Doing day care keeps me close to home and I have developed some good friendships with other stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood and am working on a couple others. One of the women and I are going to start meeting weekly to pray for our children together.
Paul is doing okay. He cracked a rib in late August while working in the backyard so heís been in a bit of pain. Iím trying to make him slow down but he always has a lot of things calling for his attention. Our yard is looking great! Paul did a lot of landscaping over the summer; putting in a sprinkler and drip system, plants, shrubs and trees. We even have a vegetable garden and a flower garden for cut flowers. Nice!
The boys and I had a nice summer vacation with the Meyers. Paul and I dropped the kids off there and we spent a weekend in Durango, Colorado. He had to go back to Phoenix, so Rob, Kevin and I spent a week with Brenda then Doyle took all the kids (minus Kevin) to Kansas Bible Camp. This was Robís first camp experience and he loved it. Heís already talking about next year.
The next week, Brenda, Kevin and I joined the gang in Kansas. David lent us their car so we old ladies could toodle around Kansas. We had Rob, Erin and Kevin with us when we visited the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson to learn more about the space program, the Abilene Eisenhower Center, the Abilene Gospel Chapel, the old house in Ramona (where the R.T. Staleyís lived prior to moving to the mission), the Old West Town in Dodge City Ė complete with a stagecoach ride and a mock shoot-out. The original tracks of the Santa Fe Trail are still visible on the prairie. We also toured half a dozen museums. The kids are old enough to appreciate the history and legends and that made it all the more fun.
On our way home we stopped in Raton to visit David and Cindy and family for three days. Saw Capulin volcano, went fishing, hiking and swimming and enjoyed hanging out together. For me, the best part of the three weeks was being with Brenda, visiting places in Kansas I only vaguely remembered, running into old friends that remembered our parents, and showing our children their "roots." The worst part was being away from my husband for so long!
We see a bit of Jeremy and really enjoy him. He is taking a heavy course load this year at ASU but loves the nursing program. We got to see Chris (Meyer) right before he left for Belgium to work with Operation Mobilization. It was hard seeing him go but we are excited for him. We were also with Jon G. the day he entered military service and headed off to Georgia for boot camp. They are neat young men who love the Lord and have been not only a blessing to our family, but a good example for our own sons.
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Reg & Barb Naylor
[Editorís note: The first paragraphs here are condensed, with permission from Barb, from the latest copy of Naylor News. The final paragraphs are additions Barb sent via e-mail (yes, theyíre connected now!)]
Why does city living seem so much busier than living in a village? Even though I have gotten used to the traffic hurtling around (personal space here is about one inch as opposed to 18 inches in our own countries) I can still recall the alarm I felt on our second day back in Nepal. As we passed one of the numerous roadside temples, our taxi driver put his palms together, leaving the steering wheel to do its own thing, closed his eyes and murmured something in the direction of the temple. I was even more alarmed to see the driver of the oncoming car do likewise! We managed to pass each other safety. By way of explanation, he remarked "No problem, I must do that for protection on my taxi!"
As for us, we are now settled in our own flat, living above our landlord with his five daughters. The house is one of a cluster around his fatherís old home. There is a large paved courtyard and a brick well. By its water we are saved from the vagaries of the municipal water supply! We are enjoying our neighbors and are gradually getting to know them. Pray for opportunities to share Godís Word with them.
We have come back this term to support Bible translation and scripture use by serving on our regional administrative team. The focus for me will be on literacy projects in areas where our colleagues have been or are working on Bible translations. As the literacy coordinator, I have welcomed new members to the team and helped them to settle in. I am excited by their vision and flexibility. We are working together to present research proposals to research institutions. Once the proposals are accepted, our members are given visas to allow them to be in a village location. Such research lays the foundation for literacy programs.
Literacy is the other half of Bible translation work. Lives changed through the power of the Word is our goal. Being able to read scripture is a critical bridge. The preparation of literacy materials in minority languages is a crucial strategy in helping to make that a reality for more people. Seeking to register a literacy program with the government has consumed much of my time lately. Hardly a day has gone by without a phone call from a colleague saying they had prayed for me while I was at the ministry that day. We are making slow, forward progress. The frustration is mostly a sense that different agendas are at work, and not really knowing if the person I am talking to has the authority to make a decision. Or even if this person will be in this job tomorrow. Each meeting helps me to understand a little more.
As our initial visa expired in June, I have enrolled as a student at the language campus. This gives me a one-year visa while I continue my application process with the government. Barbís energies focus on supporting and enabling 20-plus translation teams to carry on, as language projects coordinator. Both our responsibilities create demands on our time. Please pray for balance between time with God, as a family, with each other, doing our jobs, and staying in touch with supporters and friends. All are important!
Gavin and Claire both attend the British Primary School. We are thankful for this excellent school within walking distance of our flat. We attend a small Nepali fellowship each Saturday morning. Gavin and Claire enjoy the opportunity to use their language skills in the childrenís fellowship. For Barb and me, itís a place to join with local believers to worship and praise the Lord.
Our Horsleys Green office is now unable to forward personal mail to us. For personal letters, please use our Nepal address (following our previous guidelines). If possible, use e-mail. The work of Bible translation is a sensitive issue for the governments of South Asia. Therefore, please do not quote, publish or display this letter. Thank you.
From Barb: Just yesterday (September 2) we finally got dependents' visas for the kids and I. These piggy-back on Reg's university visa. But the office-wallahs lost our files twice and it took ages to sort it all out again by which time they smacked us with a $150 'late' fee. Do we smell a slight conspiracy somewhere? Anyway, visas are in hand in time for me to go to a 2 week conference in Thailand (yes, AGAIN!) in late September as a delegate from our Wycliffe branch. I've not been to anything quite so high-powered before. These are Asia Area meetings... every branch sends their field director and one delegate. One person I'm looking forward to meeting up with again is the mum of 2 'kids' I taught in PNG in '78 and '79. The kids were in first and second grade then... theyíre both into their own careers now, and older now than I was when I taught them. (And YES! that makes me feel LESS YOUNG!!)
Reg has never had the privilege of playing Mr. Mum for more than a long week'end, so this two weeks ought to stretch him. Having said that, our Claire is SO organized, I'm sure she'll keep everything, including her dad, in ship-shape.
The kids have most of the month of October off, due to extended Hindu holidays here. We're planning a short week-long trek up near LangTang in early Oct. Hopefully monsoon will have evaporated by then, and the cold weather will still be a month or so away. Being city-slickers now, it will be more of a challenge than when we lived out in Jajarkot and had great climbing legs and lungs year-round! Here, all we do is climb one flight of stairs a couple times a day.
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What great letters from everyone! This is such a great way to keep in touch. None of us is without our problems and difficulties but sometimes sharing them with family can lighten the load.
Since my cousin letter reminder did not have a current address for Jim and Claire (and was helpfully returned to me by the Postal Service), I had the perfect excuse for a quick phone call to obtain a new address and to check to see if all was well in their family. Iím happy to report that everything is fine. Jim also mentioned that Bill and Mary had recently moved so I phoned them as well. Here is a brief update.
Jim and Claire Bush and kids had a great visit with Lou and Larry at the Mammoth cabin over Labor Day weekend but got stuck for about six hours on the wrong side of flash floods! Can you imagine six hours in a stationary vehicle with two kids under six years old? This resulted in a late arrival home which wouldnít have mattered except Lawrence was due to start his first day of school the next morning! I guess he made it through, okay, and, as Jim said, there are plenty of school days ahead of him to make up for one spent in a sleepy fog!
Bill and Mary Bush are elbow deep in packing boxes, having moved within the past week. Their new place is only about 4 blocks from the old one but it may as well have been 4 counties, Mary says. Bill is heavily involved in soccer again and Mary continues to contribute to the school system by serving as president of the PTA. They send their love to everyone.
My summer has been relatively uneventful, save a quick trip to Seattle in July. Iíve decided to make it a yearly summer ritual -- gotta have some excuse to get out of this heat! Actually, I donít need an excuse to visit family. Those nephews of mine are growing up too fast. Ma & País new place is really nice and they are busy busy with gardening and landscaping their corner yard. Glad to see them enjoying settling down for a change. They still hope to visit us in Tucson during the winter but details have yet to be worked out.
Enjoyed visiting Jeff, Barbara, Ben, Allison, and Jeffís family history files during that trip, too! Future beautician Allison fixed my hair while I thoroughly enjoyed thumbing through all the source documents for the family history projects weíve done recently. Some really amazing stuff. Maybe after I "retire" from the university in about 10 years I can help him sort through and catalog all of it for the next and future generations.
Take care, all, and write me whenever you get the urge. You know, you donít have to wait till I ask!
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